FC Barcelona have reached an agreement with French club PSG to sign their left-back Lucas Digne on a five-year-deal
Barcelona announced via their official website that they have signed PSG full-back Lucas Digne on a five-year-deal. It was reported earlier that the player had agreed personal terms with the Blaugrana outfit, but now the deal has been made official. It is also understood that the player has cost them €16.5 million, making him their third defensive signing of the window.
Lucas Digne spent the last season on loan at Spanish side AS Roma, where he caught the attention of a number of top European clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea. It is also understood (via the Mirror) that Liverpool had made a late offer for the French defender, but it proved to be too late as he already had mind set on a move to the Camp Nou. If he had agreed a move to Anfield, he would have been a guaranteed starter given Alberto Moreno’s lackluster performances in the 2015/16 campaign.
Digne, on the other hand, had a pretty promising season at the Stadio Olimpico, where he helped Roma finish in an impressive third position. According to WhoScored, the 22-year-old made 3.1 clearances and 2 interceptions per game this season for the Yellow and Reds. He also averaged a total of 1.7 challenges per 90 minutes played, and ended the season with a pass accuracy of over 80 per cent.
How does Digne compare to Barcelona’s first choice left-back Jordi Alba?
Digne arrives at Camp Nou knowing that he will play second fiddle to Barcelona defender Jordi Alba, and it would require a great effort from the Frenchman if he is to usurp the Spaniard’s position. However, if the 2015/16 season is taken into consideration, Alba was below par, while Digne excelled in Italy. Now that the Catalans have already roped in a replacement, the 27-year-old Spain international will have to pull up his socks or risk losing out on his spot in the playing XI altogether.
If the duo’s stats are to be compared, the former Roma man comes out as the clear winner. Digne has won 0.22 tackles more than Alba per game and also averaged more blocks and clearances than the Spaniard. Even in the final third, the Frenchman provides more of an impact, creating 0.82 chances per game, as compared to Alba’s 0.66. The Barcelona left-back could only average more interceptions, and made fewer defensive errors than the incoming full-back.